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L-R: Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja 11, wife of the Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria, Melva Perez De Trejo, Ambassador of Cuba, Carios Trejo Sosa and Deputy Ambassador, Miriam Morales Palmero, during a reception organised by the Ooni for African Ambassadors and other countries that claim Yoruba Descent, at the Cuban Embassy in Abuja on Thursday.

L-R: Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja 11, wife of the Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria, Melva Perez De Trejo, Ambassador of Cuba, Carios Trejo Sosa and Deputy Ambassador, Miriam Morales Palmero, during a reception organised by the Ooni for African Ambassadors and other countries that claim Yoruba Descent, at the Cuban Embassy in Abuja on Thursday.

Bauchi

Eighty inmates of Bauchi Prison have completed a train
ing programme on preparation of detergents and cap washing, organised  by a corps member, Mr Sani Imam.
Speaking with newsmen at a ceremony organised for the inmates to display their new-found talent, Imam said the aim of the skills acquisition programme was to make the inmates productive upon release from prison.
“It is not easy for even graduates to secure employment now, talk-less of those released from prison.
“The little skills acquired here can make them to be self-reliant and they can also impart same knowledge on others after leaving the prison.
“Cap washing is a flourishing trade, especially in the far North, where the mode of dressing of most people is gown and cap,” he said.
In his remarks at the occasion, Bauchi State Co-ordinator of NYSC, Malam Musa Abubakar, noted that the trades were not capital intensive for any beginner and as such affordable to delve into.

FCT

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Com
mission (NCPC), Mr John-Kennedy Opara, said  that the commission recorded an increase of 65 per cent in pilgrimage self-sponsorship in 2015.
Opara said this when he featured the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum, the flagship programme of the agency in Abuja.
He said that Christian pilgrimage operations had hitherto been sponsored 100 per cent by the Federal and State Governments, adding that the withdrawal of government sponsorship made the commission to emphasise self-sponsorship.
According to him, even though there has been a steady decrease in terms of the total number of pilgrims, the commission has been recording increase in terms of the number of self-sponsored pilgrims.

Kaduna

The United States of America has  commenced training
exercise of at least 750 soldiers selected from various units of the Nigerian Army, battling Boko Haram.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the 145 Battalion training, at the Nigerian Army School of Infantry (NASI), Jaji, the U.S. Ambassador James Entwistle, emphasised the need for other nations to join Nigeria in the fight against terrorism.
He said the training was a right step and the best approach to addressing the prolonged Boko Haram attacks in the north-eastern part of Nigeria.
”Nigeria, U.S. partnership extends beyond immediate gains, we need to work together to rebuild the North-East. We are two great democracies and we do many great things together,” he stressed.
Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, said “the excellent relationship has led to several joint initiatives one of which is the commitment of the United States and her military to assist Nigeria in professionalising our security forces.K

Kebbi

The All Progressives Congress(APC) in Kebbi State has
announced the suspension of a member of the state House of Assembly, Alhaji Sani Idris (Zuru constituency).
The APC Public Relations Officer in the state, Alhaji Sani Dododo, made this known to newsmen in Birnin Kebbi recently. Dododo said that the suspension was for alleged insubordination and disrespect to the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Samaila Yombe. Dododo, who is also a member of the Central Working Committee of the state APC, said the suspension was sequel to a report of the Zuru Local Government executive council on the incident.
He said the party would not tolerate any incident bordering on disrespect to leaders and elders of the party in the state.
“The party will not condone indiscipline and disrespect to leaders and duly constituted authority”, he said.

Lagos

Two Eko Hotel and Suites staff and a cab driver,  have
been charged before an Igbosere Magistrates’ Court, Lagos over alleged theft of chickens worth N55, 000.
The accused were, however, granted bail in the sum of N100, 000 each with two sureties in like sum.
Olabode Jacob, 40, a steward, Sunday Ossoua, a gardener, 40 and Rapheal Addoho, a cab drive, 42 are facing a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy and stealing.
The Prosecutor, Insp. Ingobo Emby, told the court that the accused committed the offences on February 12, at Eko Hotel and Suites, No. 14/15, Adetokunbo Ademola St., Victoria Island, Lagos.
He said that the accused allegedly conspired and stole the chicken, property of Eko Hotel and Suites.
“The accused were nearly lynched when they were caught and that would have been breach of peace,” he said.
Emby said that the offences contravened Sections 285 (7), 166 (d) and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
“The Magistrate, Mr W. A. Balogun, ordered that the sureties must be gainfully employed and their addresses verified.
He adjourned the case to March 10 for mention.

Oyo

A total of 4,117 students have matriculated at The Poly
technic, Ibadan, for the 2015/2016 academic session.
A breakdown of the figure indicated that 2,500 were admitted for the Ordinary National Diploma (OND) while 1,617 were admitted for the Higher National Diploma (HND) in the five faculties. The Faculties are Engineering, Communication Studies, Environmental Studies, Financial Management Studies and Sciences. The Rector of the institution, Prof. Olatunde Fawole,  said that 59, 254, candidates made the polytechnic either their first or second choice for the OND while 6, 379, sought admission for HND. “ Out of this staggering number of applicants, only very few candidates were admitted, “ he said.  Fawole admonished the newly admitted students to keep away from associations that would tarnish their image and that of their families.

Ogun

The Yoruba Unity Forum (YUF) has called on the Fed
eral Government to rescue the nation’s economy from collapse, due to the dwindling revenues of government.
The Chairman of the YUF, Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Gbonigi, made the call at a meeting of the group, held at the country-home of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo in Ikenne-Remo in Ogun.
Gbonigi said that the unofficial devaluation of the naira at the foreign exchange market was a pointer to the urgent attention the economy needed to arrest projected inflation.
He said that millions of jobs were already under threat, due to forex downturn and fall in crude oil price.
The chairman, therefore, urged the Federal Government to formulate policies to restore investors’ confidence in the Nigerian economy.
Plateau

Fire has gutted the female section of the Jos Central Mosque.
Our correspondent, who visited the scene of the inci
dent, observed that large flames had swallowed most parts of the entire Mosque.
The flames and smoke also covered houses and shops in the vicinities.
Mr Emmanuel Abu, spokesman of the Plateau Police Command, described the fire as “very serious and unfortunate”.
He said that a vehicle parked beside the Mosque caught fire and it spread to the Mosque.
“For now, we can confirm that no one was caught in the fire, but we have despatched our men to the scene to protect property.
“Once an incident like this happens, there are miscreants always taking that as an advantage to steal.
“We want to make sure that such did not happen,” he said.

Sokoto

The World Bank has earmarked over 100 million dollars
for girl child education in five northern states in Nigeria, Dr Tunji Adekola, an official of the bank, said.
Adekola disclosed this in Sokoto at the inauguration of the state chapter of the Nigeria Partnership for Education Project.
He listed the benefitting states as Sokoto, Kano, Jigawa and Kaduna.
Adekola said that the four-year project was aimed aimed at improving access to and quality of basic education, especially for the girl-child in the states.
“The project is also aimed at improving the issue of equity in education as well as ensuring uniformity in access for all to education.
“This is the bring back the out of school children to schools and also improve gender parity between boys and girls,” he said.

Zamfara

Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State says he has  never spent public funds on any foreign trip, challenging critics to prove him wrong.
The governor, who spoke through his Information and
Culture Commissioner, Ahaji Umar Jibo Bukkuyum, also explained that what he had done and was still doing, was to move the state forward developmentally.
He said instead of spreading unfounded rumours, people, should pray for the leaders to succeed in the discharge of their responsibilities.
The commissioner added that contracts for a number of roads to be constructed in the state had been awarded by the government in addition to the ones that had been completed, stressing that recently over N1 billion was released for payment of WAEC and NECO for students.

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Group Urges Police To Apologise To Protesters

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The Alliance on Surviving Covid-19 and Beyond (ASCAB), has asked the Nigeria Police to apologise for violating the fundamental right of the protesters to freedom of expression.
A statement by the human rights group yesterday, by its Interim Chair, Femi Falana (SAN), also accused the police of deliberately contravening Section 83 (4) of the Police Establishment Act 2020. 
The section provides that “Where a person or organization notifies the police of his or its intention to hold a public meeting, rally or procession on a public highway or such meetings in a place where the public has access to, the police officer responsible for the area where the meeting rally or procession will take place shall mobilize personnel to provide security cover for the meeting, rally or the procession.”
The group noted that Section 36 of the Constitution guarantees the fundamental right of the Nigerian people to freedom of expression including the right to protest against policies of the government. 
Many Nigerians in many states across the country trooped out on Saturday, June 12 to mark the day– Democracy Day – with protests against bad governance. 
The protesters chanted ‘Buhari must go’ in apparent dissatisfaction with the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government that has seen security, economy, youth employment rate and some other sectors and indices worsen. 
However, there were arrests and harassment of peaceful protesters by the policex particularly in Abuja, Lagos and Cross River. 
The group in the statement said, “For having the audacity to insist on their fundamental right to protest against unpopular policies of governments, teams of armed police personnel fired teargas to disperse the peaceful rallies. As if the unprovoked attack was not enough, the Police brutalised and arrested scores of protesters in Lagos, Abuja and Calabar (Cross River State capital). 
“Since the protesters who were arrested during the peaceful rallies did not commit any offence, they have since regained their liberty. But the police authorities ought to apologise for violating the fundamental right of the protesters to freedom of expression.
“More so that the Police had deliberately contravened Section 83 (4) of the Police Establishment Act 2020 which provides that ‘Where a person or organization notifies the police of his or its intention to hold a public meeting, rally or procession on a public highway or such meetings in a place where the public has access to, the police officer responsible for the area where the meeting rally or procession will take place shall mobilise personnel to provide security cover for the meeting, rally or the procession.’
“While commending the protesters for conducting the themselves in a matured and peaceful manner, we condemn the official lie that the protesters were teargassed to prevent hoodlums and miscreants from hijacking the peaceful rallies. Since the Police admitted that protesters committed no offence whatsoever why were some of them arrested? Why were the so-called hoodlums and miscreants who wanted to cause mayhem and unleash violence on the protesters not arrested? 
“Or were they treated like sacred cows because they had been hired to disrupt the peaceful rallies of the protesters? Why were the scanty pro-government protesters who were reported to have fought openly in Abuja over their booty not arrested for breach of the peace in the Federal Capital Territory?

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‘MKO Most Acceptable Nigerian Democrat’

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Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, has described the late Chief Moshood Abiola, widely believed to have won the June 12, 1993 presidential poll, as “the most acceptable democrat cherished by Nigerians”.
Mohammed said this in Gamawa Local Government Area (LGA) of the state during the distribution of empowerment items to youths and women under the Kaura Economic Empowerment Programme (KEEP).
He said the empowerment scheme historic as it coincided with Democracy Day which he described as an unforgettable day in the history of Nigeria.
The governor, who was full of praises for the late business mogul, said Abiola provided the country with a lot of empowerment programmes without considering the tribe, language and geographical location of the beneficiaries.
“Our launching of this empowerment programne today is historic and passionate; we remember today is democracy day and we decided to do it on this day.
“This is because Chief Moshood Abiola, who we are celebrating, empowered several people.
“He did that across board without considering the religion, language and origin of those that benefited from the gestures.
“Abiola will remain in our memory as the most acceptable democrat or politician in Nigeria.
“We all voted for him and that is why myself, my deputy and the government decided honour to him this day by coming to Gamawa and Zaki to empower the people,” he said.
Mohammed noted that democracy day meant remembering people who had empowered the masses, adding that the late Abiola was in that category.
The gesture, he said, was also to show appreciation to the people who brought his administration to power, adding that his government had a lot to offer to the people.

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Buhari, Bello Greet Abubakar At 79

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President Muhammadu Buhari has felicitated former Head of State, retired Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, on his 79th birthday, joining family members and friends to celebrate with the iconic leader.
The president’s congratulatory message is contained in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja yesterday.
Buhari noted that Abubakar’s legacy of setting the country on the path of democracy and good governance, and passionate pursuit of peace had continued to yield results.
He congratulated the General for another age, appreciating his patriotism and visionary leadership style of always advocating unity, projecting maturity and wisdom on national discourse, and providing a rallying point for the future of the country.
The president noted the goodwill that the former Head of State had continued to attract to the country, both at national and international levels.
He particularly lauded him for sacrificing his time and resources to reach out to individuals and institutions on the need to work for the growth of Nigeria.
Buhari prayed for increase in wisdom, strength and long life for the former military leader that midwifed return of democracy to the country in 1999.
Similarly, Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger has felicitated former Military Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd), on his 79th birthday.
Sani-Bello, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mrs Mary Noel-Berje, last Saturday in Minna eulogised Abubakar and described him as a “complete gentleman”.
According to him, the former head of state is a patriot who has remained “consistent and significant” in the progress and development of the country.
He said Niger and the country were indeed lucky to have an outstanding leader and statesman who had consistently remained on the path of promoting national unity and integration, as well as pursuit of global peace.
“Undoubtedly, your resolve to rededicate yourself to the service of our fatherland and humanity in general is a clear testimony of your statesmanship and influence which cuts across the length and breadth of the country,” Sani-Bello said.
He noted that at 79 years, Abdulsalami had remained a reference point for good governance, diplomacy and conflict resolution.
He prayed Allah to grant him sound health, many more years of wisdom, courage and determination to continue to offer selfless service to the nation and humanity.

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